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High-Resolution USB Audio Broken?

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
I'm having an issue with high-res audio not playing from a USB stick and I wondered whether it's just me, or if Tesla has gone and broken something (again) in a recent firmware update?

Specifically:

  • The problem concerns playback from certain FLAC (lossless) files stored on a memory stick.
  • My CD-quality (16-bit / 44 kHz) files play fine, but not my higher-resolution 24-bit / 192 kHz files!
  • When I try to play the higher-resolution files I see the Play button flashing between "Play" and "Pause" and eventually I get a "Failed to Load" error.
It's annoying that my "Premium Audio" system - which was an extra £2,000 at the time - has proved so disappointing. This latest issue is especially annoying, since I tend to listen to recent recordings in the car, and these are invariably high-resolution audio.

I've contacted Tesla here in the UK and they were unaware of the issue - which probably isn't surprising as I expect I'm in a very-small minority of self-confessed "audiophile" users, avoiding streaming like the plague and clinging on to physical copies of music files. Am I the only one left?
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
OK, just been out to the car and rebooted the 17" screen. Took forever to restart and I then had to wait for the best part of 10 minutes for the system to scan the USB drive (this is a 256 GB drive that's nearly full). The result? No difference! Trying to play a (previously-played) 24-bit 192 kHz FLAC file resulted in the Play/Pause buttons flashing for about 30 seconds, followed by "Loading Failed" message. The cover art was loaded, however.
 

zanary

Active Member
Jan 25, 2017
1,379
1,539
SF Bay Area (East Bay), CA
OK, just been out to the car and rebooted the 17" screen. Took forever to restart and I then had to wait for the best part of 10 minutes for the system to scan the USB drive (this is a 256 GB drive that's nearly full). The result? No difference! Trying to play a (previously-played) 24-bit 192 kHz FLAC file resulted in the Play/Pause buttons flashing for about 30 seconds, followed by "Loading Failed" message. The cover art was loaded, however.

Based your signature and your comments about the reboot taking forever, it sounds like you're MCU/1 is slowly dying. I'm only going to guess that might also be contributing to your issue.

Have you considered the optional $2500 USD Infotainment Ugrade Package once it's available in your area?
Infotainment Upgrade
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
Based your signature and your comments about the reboot taking forever, it sounds like you're MCU/1 is slowly dying. I'm only going to guess that might also be contributing to your issue.

that might explain the slow reboot, but I don't think it explains the audio issue; it's much more likely that some teenage geek in Fremont didn't think anyone would ever listen to audio files at higher than CD resolution (I mean, we're all supposed to be listening to sub-fi streamed music over the inter-web aren't we?)…

Have you considered the optional $2500 USD Infotainment Ugrade Package once it's available in your area?

Definitely not. Given all the issues with the existing system - and the fact that Tesla have progressively downgraded the audio capabilities of the system (remember when we could browse in album view?) and the failure to provide gapless playback, I'm not pouring any more cash down that black hole. Sorry :)
 

tpedwards

Member
Apr 12, 2016
346
298
Fishers, IN
Hmmm, I would think you would be an ideal candidate for the Infotainment upgrade. You would get not only the entertainment upgrade of MCU2, but also additional benefit of Sentry Mode, better AP3 visualizations, etc. Heck, I've been looking for a late 2016 with AP2.0 to get FUSC, FSD and then upgrade to MCU2 to have it all in one Model S!
 

RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
To actually respond to your question - I just tried to play several 24/192 songs I have and they all played perfectly. I am on 2020.44.10.1, so the album art is broken :(

These same files used to play on my S 4 years ago - one of the things that appealed was the ability to play Hi-Res. All the issues have been around presentation, shuffle, album art etc. But once playing, the sound has always been fine for me.
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
To actually respond to your question - I just tried to play several 24/192 songs I have and they all played perfectly. I am on 2020.44.10.1, so the album art is broken :(

These same files used to play on my S 4 years ago - one of the things that appealed was the ability to play Hi-Res. All the issues have been around presentation, shuffle, album art etc. But once playing, the sound has always been fine for me.
Interesting, Richard - thanks for trying that. I’ve checked and it looks as if my firmware is older than yours: I have 2030.36.11 - so perhaps this was a bug that got fixed? Interesting to hear other people’s experiences - thanks again!
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
Hmmm, I would think you would be an ideal candidate for the Infotainment upgrade. You would get not only the entertainment upgrade of MCU2, but also additional benefit of Sentry Mode, better AP3 visualizations, etc.

good points, but my car (just) missed AP2.0 - it was a P90DL that qualified for the P100D upgrade, but only has AP1.
 
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tpedwards

Member
Apr 12, 2016
346
298
Fishers, IN
good points, but my car (just) missed AP2.0 - it was a P90DL that qualified for the P100D upgrade, but only has AP1.
Doh! Yes, I'd have known that if I'd paid attention to your signature. I think I had seen @zanary 's signature (2017 Model S P100D with HW3 (installed on 3/16/20)) and got crossed. He's even done what I am considering!
 

zanary

Active Member
Jan 25, 2017
1,379
1,539
SF Bay Area (East Bay), CA
Doh! Yes, I'd have known that if I'd paid attention to your signature. I think I had seen @zanary 's signature (2017 Model S P100D with HW3 (installed on 3/16/20)) and got crossed. He's even done what I am considering!

I did my Infotainment Ugrade Package upgrades very early on. Wrote a very detailed post back in March of 2020 when I had it done. Even if you don't have AP2/2.5/3/FSD, just the responsiveness of the MCU (for me), makes it well worth it, plus I want to see what Tesla OS v11 brings in December.

Tesla confirms infotainment system upgradeability from MCU1 to MCU2 for $2500

Many with AP1 and I think I saw an AP0 owner post on TMC that they did the upgrade and just loves the responsiveness. You also get all of the new entertainment options along with Caraoke but you have to find this useful I guess...
 
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RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
Interesting, Richard - thanks for trying that. I’ve checked and it looks as if my firmware is older than yours: I have 2030.36.11 - so perhaps this was a bug that got fixed? Interesting to hear other people’s experiences - thanks again!
I don't recall ever seeing any kind of loading error on my files. however, I am driving so little these days, especially earlier in the year, that I could have missed that altogether!
 

Dreamontom99

Member
Aug 9, 2017
51
27
Southern Cal
This is a known problem with hi res flac audio files. There is another thread in here or maybe Tesla forum that details which update broke it. They used to play and they no longer play. I have also had the infotainment upgrade and on 2020.44 and it still doesn’t work!
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
This is a known problem with hi res flac audio files. There is another thread in here or maybe Tesla forum that details which update broke it. They used to play and they no longer play. I have also had the infotainment upgrade and on 2020.44 and it still doesn’t work!

Many thanks for confirming my suspicions! Much appreciated…

This raises an interesting legal issue: conventional cars generally get worse with time, whereas Tesla claims that - thanks to its over-the-air software updates - its vehicles get better with time. That's until they go and break something. What rights do owners have then, or have we signed away all rights by agreeing to install the updates (bugs and all) ?
 

d.c.palmer

8 years of EV driving
Feb 17, 2017
154
147
Oxford, England
For reference, this is what I see when trying to play a high-res FLAC file:-


For those that care, this is the recent Channel Classics recording of Mahler's 3rd symphony with Ivan Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra. It's an amazing performance - in truly spectacular sound (as with other Channel Classics recordings). Unfortunately, it won't play in my car - and neither will any other high-resolution FLAC from the likes of Linn (again, 24-bit / 192 kHz) or even slightly-lower resolution (24-bit / 96 kHz) from Universal or Warner Classics.
 
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